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?post natal bleeding (still) or period - how do I know?

(16 Posts)
Distracted Tue 04-Jan-05 11:12:44

I've had rather prolonged post natal bleeding with my second birth - very different to first time around where I bled really heavily continually for 5 weeks, then just about stopped then started heavily again, which turned out to be my period, end of story.

This time I didn't bleed as heavily and stopped initially after only 10 days, but after that it continually stopped and started and at 8 weeks I did have a course of antibiotics, which seemed to stop it. It did stop then for the longest time, more than 2 weeks and I started bleeding again last week really heavily, which I assumed was then my period, as it was heavier than the previous few times and I had lots of cramps for first couple of days. However, now I wondering as the bleeding is now slowing down and it's not like a period, in that it's not changing colour.

Sorry if this is too much info - but when I have periods they usually start brownish, going to red - bright red if really heavy and then it progressively darkens and when the period slows right down the bleeding is brown, fading to light brown right at the end. All the postnatal bleeding I've had has been bright red from start to stop and when it slows down it just dies away without changing colour - perhaps just slightly more dilute. My current bleeding is now slowing right down and again it's still reasonably bright red, which makes me think that perhaps it is still postnatal bleeding and not a period? How can I tell?

MrsBigD Tue 04-Jan-05 11:22:35

Hi distracted, my first period after ds (2nd child) was all over the place. I had a c-section so don't know whether that makes any difference. Anyhow... was bleeding for about 5 weeks after the birth then it stopped and at 8 weeks I though I'd ruptured something as I felt like I was bleeding out (sorry graphic). I think that it was also my longest period ever! Took 10 days to subside but now it's back to 4 weekly suffering...

But I'd say if you are concerned see your GP as you might have an infection despite the antib's you've taken. Better safe than sorry!

Hope you feel better soon.

Distracted Tue 04-Jan-05 11:56:25

MrsBigD - thanks for your response, I know first periods are often really heavy (one reason why I thought this episode of bleeding was hopefully my first period). However, did your first period subside in the normal way once it stopped - ie. did it change colour in the usual way, as that's what seems to me to be the difference between my periods and the post natal bleeding I've had (if that makes sense)?

colditzmum Tue 04-Jan-05 11:59:11

it took 12 weeks for my pn bleeding to stop!!! Not a period eithr, I had a lower blood count after that than 2 weeks post-nataly!!

MrsBigD Tue 04-Jan-05 13:03:21

distracted - my first period ended like the pn bleeding did, just peetering off with red blood as opposed to the usual yicky brown stuff... but as I said, if in doubt... GP You never know what they find!

I went there last week because I thought I had trouble with my cs scar only to be diagnosed with kidney infection...

Lonelymum Tue 04-Jan-05 13:08:06

After some of my pregnancies, my bleeding was here there and everywhere for months. I know I went to see my GP about it and was told that if I was still breast-feeding (I was) then anything could happen re bleeding and to come back after stopping b/feeding if things didn't settle down after that. Are you breast feeding?

Lonelymum Tue 04-Jan-05 13:08:41

BTW, how are you now MrsBigD?

MrsBigD Tue 04-Jan-05 13:10:38

Hi lonelymum - going back to see GP this afternoon. They had an emergency appointment free... not feeling worse, but defo not feeling better, so we shall see... if I drink any more cranberry juice and water I'll be rolling there!

Lonelymum Tue 04-Jan-05 13:18:54

I have been worrying about you. I'm glad you are going back to the GP. Hope something positive comes of it.

MrsBigD Tue 04-Jan-05 13:21:50

or at least a 'negative' urine dip that way we know the antib's are working and I just need some more

Enid Tue 04-Jan-05 13:37:59

please have a scan, I had exactly the same symptoms as you with dd2 - hv and gp assured me it was a period but I insisted on a scan and I had lots of retained product - even though notes said everything had come away, had to have an emercency d&c in the end as could have haemorraged at any moment

Distracted Tue 04-Jan-05 21:00:32

Oh Enid that's a bit scary! Did you have any pains or signs of infection? Until I read your post I was thinking that I'd just perhaps leave it, maybe see how long it was until I next bled. I don't have any other symptoms that suggest something is wrong, just that the bleeding doesn't seem to follow the pattern that my periods usually do (my periods are moderately heavy and usually last a good 8 days - this was much heavier but then is suddenly fading away at only day 5/6 even though still bright red).

(I'm not breastfeeding by the way Lonelymum).

MrsBigD - hope your kidney infection is getting better and your urine sample was negative this afternoon.

Distracted Wed 05-Jan-05 08:30:58


GreatBigFatHeiferEnid Wed 05-Jan-05 08:48:00

well I was breastfeeding which made it less likely to be periods - the fact that you are not means that it could be a period I suppose.

But the key is that YOU are not happy.

No, I'm afraid I had no pains or signs of infection. I felt fine. I think someone on mumsnet encouraged me to have a scan actually! I don't want to worry you unnecessarily but my gp was happy to refer me in the end so it might be worth checking out. Let us know how it goes.

babylonian Wed 05-Jan-05 09:57:15

hi, am new to mumsnet, and interested in this topic as have also been bleeding on and off since my ds was born 9 weeks ago...but i am bottle feeding and have restarted the pill so am not sure whether this is breakthrough or not...any ideas?

Distracted Wed 05-Jan-05 20:52:16

Thanks Enid - think I'll try and talk to my GP soon and see if I can perhaps get a scan, as it would be good to know one way or another. I want to try to start losing the weight and my mum has offered to babysit once a week so I can go to the gym, but if there is a problem I know I shouldn't be exercising (saw my GP at 8 weeks when I had a course of antibiotics and he told me to do as little exercise as possible at the time). I'm 12+ weeks now, by the way.

Babylonian - I've had breakthrough bleeding on the pill lots of times in the past (haven't gone back on it myself this time). The breakthrough bleeding I've had on the pill has never been bright red - it's always very light and the colour consistent with the amount of bleeding, so if very light has just been brown rather than red. Hope that helps!

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